Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I'm so angry.

I'm angry with my prodigal boy and his seemingly determined decisions to NOT move forward in life.

I'm angry at his failure to launch.

I'm angry at my failure as his mother to better prepare him for launching.

I'm angry at my bulldozer personality that so often chose not to listen to his father, but was so set on my own way being the right way.

I'm angry at all the things I know I did wrong as a parent.

I'm angry at my prodigal for refusing to stay on medication and allow it to do him some good.

I'm angry at him for letting depression get a foothold constantly and thus making forward motion that much harder.

I'm angry that he refused to work more and have the money needed to take care of himself.

I'm angry at all the things that have transpired that make  our finances so difficult and scary.

I'm angry at our landlord for not fixing all the things we want fixed.

I'm angry that I  hate cleaning and see such evidence of that around me.

Did I mention I'm angry?

For the love of prodigals

My prodigal is my first born.

He has always been a spirited child.  He is high energy and curious and takes after his mother and my slightly contentious attitude.

He is charming.  He can light up a room and make someone feel good about themselves.

He is engaging.  He is passionate.  He gets involved in something and wants to take it on.  He wants to master something and be good at it, but sometimes gets discouraged at the difficulty.

I know all mothers think their children are attractive, but my son is attractive.  His big brown eyes and the puppy dog look he's mastered over the years can sway you.

He's articulate.  You often don't realize he's as young as he is when talking to him because he sounds older and more mature than he really is.

He can write beautifully.  There is a poet inside of him.  His stories and lyrics are beautiful.

I just wanted to write some beautiful things about my prodigal to remind myself they are there.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

conversation with my daughter

As I've mentioned, I have a daughter who's 17.
She's basically a decent kid and I'm super grateful that she is who she is.  I'll spare you the whole proud mamma stuff, but know there's a list of awesome regarding her. ♥

Having said that, we struggle a bit to have conversations about politics & such.  Totally normal but I want to get better at it.

Recently, she sent me this link.  
I replied with a link regarding a wasteful grant by NSF for a theater production about climate change.  She was confused.  So we agreed to talk about it later.
Since then, I've been thinking about how to actually reply.

Now I want to respond to it in several ways.  My first difficulty is my own passion on topics I'm, well, passionate about.  So I'm fleshing out my response here.

First, I totally laughed. (Which daughter did not understand.  She didn't think it was funny.)  It was well made and obviously meant to be funny and make a point. 

I was upset by the end comments eluding that the reason this happens is because Trump is cutting the budget of the NSF (National Science Foundation).  Come on!

Is it OK that field drug tests do such a poor job and are so unreliable that their results are basically a parody of justice?  (this is the part where you are supposed to open another tab and do some research to see if this statement is true or if Samantha Bee only used research that supported her opinion.)

I did some research and it would appear there is a problem with reliability and false positives.  It is still a really big jump that any field test = we should not remove funding from the NSF.  Seems to me we just need better field tests.  Wouldn't that resolve the problem?  Perhaps there should be a requirement for secondary lab testing before any conviction.  Or no approval for plea-bargains without secondary testing.  (Although I'm sure people can be held in jail for way too long due to lab back ups.  There has to be a way to work this out though.  We did send people to the moon.)   

So what do we actually learn from the video?
  • That drug field tests lack accuracy and can lead to false imprisonment and convictions.
  • That yes, racism is still alive and well.  (another whole issue)
  • I could easily conclude that there is someone making money on those tests that maybe should have some accountability on the efficacy of their product.  
  • I'd go so far as to say we need changes in policy regarding the use of field drug tests and where they stand in the course of a police stop for any reason.
I think on this particular issue, the science is fairly decent.  We can always improve, but that would be the responsibility of the labs that create the product.  If they want a product that works, shouldn't they work to improve it?  Why does it have to be a government grant that makes this possible?  This is a for profit company.  

This is where I think differently.  I don't want the government responsible for everything.  I want people to be responsible for their own lives and decisions and for government to only be involved when absolutely necessary.  I would much prefer our communities come together to handle much of what government does poorly.  Yet, we live in a world where personal responsibility is lacking and many hands remain outstretched & waiting.

So I guess that's my response.  I applaud investigative journalism that uncovers such injustice.  I do not applaud the leaps in thought that people use to make their own points seem more credible.  But that's another post.

Since I wrote this I've had a discussion with my daughter.  The poke at Trump at the end barely registered with her.  She was upset by the racism and classism evident in the stories told.  That if you're white and can afford an attorney, you are set free.  If you are black and can only afford the court appointed defense attorney... you're probably going to jail.

I'm pleased my daughter is upset by these things.  She should be.  I should be.

Friday, June 16, 2017

conversations with millenials

I have 2 kids.
Son, 19 
Daughter, 17

Both my kids have grown up in a Christian, fairly conservative home.
Things that have been important to me as a parent:
ability to think for yourself

I don't allow parroting of opinions.  You need to be able to back up what you say with facts and reason.  this is not always a fun environment for a kid, I admit; but I find it so terribly important to raise adults who can think for themselves.

My son had a bunch of friends over prior to our last Presidential election.  One of his friends made a comment about how he was voting for Bernie Sanders.  So.. I asked why.

Friend:  I think he'll make a really good President.

Me:  Why do you think he'll be a good President?

Friend:  Because he's the only one who really cares.

Me:  I don't know much about Bernie.  What does he do that makes you think he cares?  (honestly, this was totally conversational, not interrogating)

Friend:  I don't know.  I just think he does.  

Me:  I'd love to hear more.

Friend:  [stares blankly.  leaves room]

Me: [commenting to my son] He didn't grow up in this house, did he?

Son:  nope.

Before that friend left, I challenged him to do a little reading on why Bernie was so great and that I'd love to hear about why he likes Bernie next time he comes over.

A girl can try.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Note:  my daughter is 17 and we have very different political views.  

I was talking with my lovely daughter last night and we came upon the term "snowflake."  

Me:  Do you know why millenials are called "snowflakes?"

Daughter:  Because we're all "unique & special?"

Me:  No, because snowflakes are delicate and easily destroyed. They require safe space while away at college where nobody can challenge their views or disagree with them.

Daughter  That's stupid.


And yes, I know I'm not supposed to use caps in my # but I can't help it.  They are so much easier to read.  I really want spaces, but I'm trying to honor the format at least partially. :) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

why I'm good at constructive criticism

So I was the girl who cried whenever anybody told me something about myself that I didn't like. It hurt so much.  Definitely struggled with all or nothing thinking (if you say 1 thing bad about me, I must be all bad -- silly really).

I was a walking contradiction: certain I was right and horrified when I was wrong; always worried people didn't like me, yet I was unwilling to change.  Sounds like the perfect recipe to becoming a crazy cat lady on welfare without friends (although cats can count as friends).  While I have crazy cat lady tendencies (I have previously had up to 9 cats, but am down to only 2 now), I have come far on this journey of understanding.  A journey I owe in part to an "argument" a friend of mine had with her husband.

Maddy & Matt wanted a new bed.  Well, Matt wanted a new bed, but he wasn't quite ready to fork out the cash for a new bed so he was kind of stalling.  Maddy wanted the new bed and was pushing.  Typical marital discussion.  Maddy is a typical chick, battling the ever encroaching pounds on a regular basis so Matt figures (well, I'm assuming he thought about it, but one could easily argue he didn't think at all) he has the perfect way to put off the discussion of a new bed.  

"I don't want to buy a new bed until you've lost your weight.  We don't want to ruin it."

(This is where you take a breath and calm down -- unlike my reaction honestly.  
Better?  OK, read on before you seek to hurt Matt.)

My response to this discussion was OUTRAGE!
Maddy's response was laughter.
Then, she explained and began a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for.

Maddy:  I laugh because it's not true.  I'm not so overweight that I'm going to hurt a bed. Matt just doesn't know how to articulate not wanting to buy a bed right now.  He doesn't think I'm overweight to that degree and even if he did think that, it's not true.  If it's not true, I don't need to worry about it.  I just talk to God about the truth and allow Him to guide me and focus on His plans.

I'll be honest, it took a long time for that to fully sink in.  Years later, I've fully embraced this truth and it's amazing!!  

News flash, we aren't perfect!  I'm not perfect, I mess up stuff on a daily basis!  If someone needs to call me on that (and they often do), that's OK.  I can work on the things I need to change and talk with God regularly about what is on the agenda.  It's powerful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I suck at...

You remember that joke, "I can't be out of money I still have checks left?"?  Totally me.  

OK, so it's not that I think I still have money left if I still have checks -- by the way, does anybody still write checks?  It's been so long since I've written a check!  I always feel like writing a check means I'm trying to get away with something because it's so antiquated.  Oh and because of "Catch Me If You Can"  -- it's more than I never think about how much money I have.  OR, I totally underestimate how much money I've spent.  Put those two things together and it will quickly take a second job to manage your overdraft charges.  I used to be able to get them reversed (I don't suck at talking, which I might have mentioned before), but now a days, they take one look at my account and probably think I am a terrible person.

Fortunately, there is a husband in all of this.  A husband who is the opposite of me in almost every way possible.  The plus side of this is he is great with finances.  Frugal and responsible!  After 26 years, he knows how much rope to give me and while I know I often make him a little nuts, he really doesn't complain much.  (I should really do something nice for him.)

Time management.
It shames me to say this.  I see the value and importance of this trait.  It frustrates me in my boss.  I see the irritation in others in meetings etc.  I work on it.  I really do.
I've read the articles (no doubt written by people who are always 10 minutes early to everything) about how people who are late are just too self focused or don't have respect for others.  Honestly, that's not it.  I'm... gosh.  My mind is in 100 places at once.  I so rarely focus on just one thing I'm not even sure how to do it.  (For instance, I've been writing this for an hour and have done 10 other things, stopping and starting...you know how it is.)
My husband tells me I underestimate how long things are going to take.  I think my drive home will be 15 mins (but it takes 30).  I think I can get up, get ready, go to the store, get gas and get to work in 45 mins (it takes 90 minutes).  I think a trip to the craft store involves time stopping from the time I walk IN until the time I walk OUT.  Not true.  I try to do too much and I'm apparently awful at judging time.    

Did I mention I'm working on this?  I have to say, smart hones in many ways are huge helpers on this.  Now I'm setting a new goal of trying to be 10 mins early to everything.  Then, if I have a few minutes left, I can go on facebook or something.  It actually works pretty well.

Putting Things Away.
I don't mind cleaning as long as it involves water.  I'll get in the shower and scrub, I'll clean toilets, I'll wash dishes... no problem.  Don't ask me to clear the table or put my clothes away.  I've always wondered why this is... I don't know but it makes even me crazy.  Something about the process really stresses me out.  It's like all I can think about is getting it over with -- or more accurately, getting away from the task.  

OK, that's enough self loathing for today.  :)

Actually, I don't loath myself. 
My outlook is different.
Failure is how we learn.
It's how we grow.